Second Claimant for Gurlitt’s Matisse Halts Restitution Effort

The trove was found in Cornelius Gurlitt's Munich apartment in 2012.

A second individual has claimed to be the rightful heir of Henri Matisse‘s Femme assise, halting its return to the family of late art dealer Paul Rosenberg, according to a statement released by Munich art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt’s spokesperson, Stephan Holzinger on Monday morning. The painting is among the most prominent found in Gurlitt’s apartment two years ago.

On behalf of the Augsburg prosecutor’s office, Christoph Edel writes, “I am legally obligated to review the claim,” made by this new self-proclaimed heir. Edel goes on to explain that he would be, “Personally liable for damages incurred, should the picture be mistakenly restituted to the incorrect partly.”

Matisse’s Femme assise was to be the first work returned from Gurlitt’s trove of alleged Nazi looted art after a change in tack by his legal team towards more active restitution efforts. Officials say they will treat this latest claim with utmost priority in order to create the least possible delay in returning the work to its rightful heirs, whoever they may be.

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